The challenge of planning an efficient office design and layout can seem like a daunting task. Several key factors must be considered to secure a space that balances utilitarian functionalities with creative interior design.
Whether the purpose of designing a new office layout is for expanding, remodeling, or moving into new office quarters, the process can be exciting, albeit slightly overwhelming. After all, your office design can significantly affect your personal image.
With careful considerations to office space planning, you can create an office space that promotes productivity and innovation in the workplace while attracting and retaining talent with the company.
Here are the key elements you have to consider when designing your new office:
1. Your requirements
First things first, your planning process should define the planning requirements of your new office design. Whether it’s moving to a new space or renovating the current office layout, start by defining the top reasons and goals your business has for a new space. Yes, it takes a lot of time and money to design/redesign your office and the reasons why you are planning to make changes in the design should guide your whole design process.
Some reasons may include office relocation, a merger or acquisition, or it may come down to the simple need to consolidate existing space as your business experiences departmental shifts and new divisions of labor.
Similarly, the main goals to redesign office space may be to increase productivity and efficiency or rebrand the business to modernize it for internal and external audiences, making it easier to attract new talent to the company.
By first understanding the purpose and requirements of a new office layout, you can discover ‘best practices’ and design trends, as well as the right professional interior design company to work with that, speaks to your brand’s personality.
2. The importance of lighting
Lighting, be it your home or your office, is one of the most important aspects in the whole designing process from an interior designer’s perspective. When natural lighting is used in a corporate space, firms can reduce their energy consumption and lower electricity bills. But the use of natural light can have an impact on office productivity and overall health as well. The use of natural light in an office setting has been shown to boost productivity, work satisfaction and mood, and worker health. Natural light, therefore, is beneficial for the overall mood in the office.
As such, when designing your new office layout, consider the importance of natural light. Natural light is vital for productivity and motivation purposes. Take into consideration that office furniture or equipment does not obstruct or block sources of natural light.
Complement natural light with modern lighting technology such as LED lighting solutions to truly create an office space that’s conducive for work.
3. The right colors
Designing a new layout for your office is the perfect time to integrate color schemes to your office setting. Colors are a powerful form of communication. They can evoke certain emotional responses according to the selected color scheme.
Picking a perfect color for your office can be a bit challenging and is a bit different from picking a perfect color combination for your condo. When developing a new layout, use color to its fullest potential. Incorporating the color green through workspaces, for example, has significant implications on office productivity, efficiency, and employee recruitment and retention.
Examine your brand’s style guideline and use colors that work with your company’s branding.
Striking the right balance is key when incorporating color to design elements. Too much color can become overbearing and fatiguing. Similarly, not enough color, or having too much white can hinder the productivity in an office environment.
4. Navigation and space
An effective floor plan will ensure your office layout is functional and serves its utilitarian purpose for fire code safety and evacuation plans. At the same time, fluid navigation can affect collaboration and team engagement.
Managing and utilizing space effectively ensures that your new floor plan can strategically scale with the business as it grows strength to strength.
Special considerations to navigation and space create a task-orientated working environment that enables employees to perform and collaborate better while accommodating growth.
The new office layout should also consider the importance of varying working environments. This includes creating spaces for collaborative work and individual, quiet projects.
5. Turning the workplace into a destination
With virtual offices and remote work on the rise, organizations must create offices that enhance culture and is fully enjoyed by its staff. With office space being a valuable real estate investment, companies must utilize every square inch to create a work environment that’s inviting, inspiring, and comfortable.
Furniture throughout the office should be flexible and multi-functional. Multi-purpose rooms, a working cafe, and lounge spaces give staff a desirable destination that they will fully employ day in and day out. When planning a new office layout, democratize key areas of the office.
This encourages active participation, strategic collaboration, and improved productivity.
Seeing the big picture
The design and layout of your office’s workspace will have a significant impact on productivity, engagement, employee satisfaction, brand impact, and talent recruitment. Careful consideration must be given to planning to create an office layout that’s approachable and strategically designed to be conducive to work.
It’s not possible to take into consideration the individual choices of color, lighting, space etc. Therefore, as a designer, your aim should be creating a design which is acceptable to ‘most’ of the people i.e. any design idea which is generally acceptable.
Of course, you can use your skills and knowledge as a designer to come up with something brilliant, but you should remember that the office will be used by regular people and every individual is going to have a different taste and preference. A general approach, therefore, is the best way to go.
CEO at Interact Group LLC
Interact Group is a design-led interior fit-out company that aims to set new standards in the UAE interiors market. Driven by their dedication to total customer experience, the company’s mission is to bring truly specialized teams to complex design and fit out challenges, utilizing their unmatched ability to deliver spaces efficiently and above expectation.
Deborah Lee Fong Plays Lead Role as Part of the Urban World Film Festival Live Screenplay Readings
Veteran Actor/Dancer in Theater and on Television Brought Her Unique Talents to the Heart of New York for Special Performances at the 23rd Annual Festival
(New York, NY) — Renowned Actress and Dancer Deborah Lee Fong recently appeared as Agnes in the production of “Secret Santa” during the Live Screenplay Readings as part of this year’s Urban World Film Festival. The event was presented by BET in partnership with the Writers Guild of America East.
Known for her starring and supporting roles in “Footsteps” and “Footsteps 2” on PBS, the film “You and Your Decisions”, and countless national Theater productions, the energetic bilingual Panamanian American performer has been acting and dancing in theater/television for over 30 years. Versatile and engaging, she can seemingly play any character and also specializes in Salsa and pole dancing. Deborah was thrilled to be involved in this year’s festival as Agnes in “Secret Santa”.
The Urbanworld Film Festival, founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes, is one of the largest internationally competitive festivals of its kind. Each year, they curate a slate of films representing the broadest lens of diversity across stories, characters, themes, and cultures. Urbanworld is a five-day festival, anchored in film, showcasing narrative and documentary features, short films, spotlight screenings and conversations, and live staged screenplay readings.
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Startup Accelerator and Incubators: Benefits and Drawbacks
Launching a startup is no easy feat. It requires hard work, planning and resources which often leads founders and their team to look for external support. Whether you’re just developing an idea or looking for outside funding, an accelerator or incubator program may be the answer.
While partnering with an accelerator or incubator program can be pivotal in pushing your startup to that “next level”, it’s important to keep in mind there are both benefits and drawbacks. Whether you decide to apply for a program will depend on what’s important to your startup, its unique needs and growth roadmap. Each accelerator program is unique in its offerings and timeline. Let’s outline the pros and cons below.
Accelerator or Incubator Benefits:
- Funding Opportunities: Funding can range from seed funding to angel investors or venture capitalists who assist with fundraising. Amounts range from anywhere from $10,000 to half a million dollars.
- Free Office Space: Typically looks like a co-working space with a conference room, which is important because it can limit recurring expenses and encourage collaboration with your team.
- Mentorship: This aspect is crucial for a lot of founders, since every startup will face roadblocks or make mistakes. A network allows you to connect with other entrepreneurs and understand how they overcame hurdles.
- Resources: Resources range from intellectual property to legal advice. There can also be discounted programs or products.
Accelerator or Incubator Drawbacks:
- Giving Up Equity: Many accelerator programs require that you give up some form of equity. When new investors join the table, you should consider how they will benefit or contribute to the startup over its lifetime. Consider the team equity, ability to raise future funding, or your return on investment after the program is over.
- Not Enough Time or Funding: It’s also important to note that accelerator programs often have limited timelines. These can range from three months to six or more months. Meaning, if you don’t have enough funding or time, you can leave the program with little progress or growth.
Wherever you are in the growth stage, it’s helpful to weigh your options by checking out different programs. Check out an interactive table Embroker compiled over 160 accelerators and incubators around the world. Sort by factors such as location, mentorship, office space, or demo day to find the unique program for your startup. The program you ultimately choose should depend on where you need support and if the program is a natural fit with your team and goals.
In this Interview, Marcus Parker talks about the Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Business and about his Emotional Healing Toolbox
Wouldn’t it be great if schools taught students how to control emotions better? Sadly, traditional schools fail to impart key life lessons to students. Marcus Parker is the Founder of MPositive and he is on a mission to fill this gap. In this interview, he shares emotions in general and how his ‘Emotional Healing Toolbox’ is helping people have better control over their emotions.
Marcus, Thank you for talking with us. Tell us more about your journey as an entrepreneur so far.
As an entrepreneur, my journey has been difficult, many more downs than ups. I didn’t know many entrepreneurs growing up so I had to learn a lot On the job. I started with a book in 2004 called “The Product”, which I would place on consignment at stores and promote it. From there I made motivational rap CDs, and just kept building my product base.
How important it is to have control over your emotions in business?
It is very important to have control over your emotions because in business there will always be problems. You can’t let every problem charge your emotions negatively. It is ok to feel low sometimes but what is more important is how quickly you overcome your emotions.
Running a business is not that easy and you have to deal with the ups and downs on a regular basis. How can business owners have better control over their emotional state during challenging times?
Business owners can make better emotional decisions by self-evaluating which triggers affect their emotions. Getting to the root of your triggers is paramount. More often than not, a thorough introspection will help you analyse the root cause of the issues affection your emotional balance.
Traditional teaching methodologies do not focus on key skills that help us live an emotionally fulfilled life. What is your opinion on the current state of affairs? How can we bring upon positive changes?
All our lives we were not taught emotional intelligence which allows us to understand ourselves and others. We have inbreed biases and triggers which control us to a certain extent.
If we look at ourselves in the mirror, we will understand that we are really driven by biases that may have been created in our lives through false narratives from the past.
Tell us more about your “Emotional Healing Toolbox”. How does it help individuals overcome emotional issues?
The emotional healing toolbox contains over 15 years of hard work in motivation and emotional intelligence. It contains ebooks, training classes, videos, motivational music, and lessons.
It is great for parents and teachers who are usually tasked with handling their own emotions on top of their families and emotions of their classes as well. I am a parent of 4 and I know how hard it is to take time for yourself when others constantly need you.
I think that we can bring a positive change if everyone started to look inside and fix themselves instead of pointing fingers and blaming others. I once read a quote that said” An unhealed person will take offense to everything others do. A healed person understands that the actions of others have nothing to do with them. ” Can’t remember who said that but I thought it was profound.
The toolbox can help individuals by teaching them the root of their triggers and biases and help them to begin the healing process. There is a lot of FREE info inside. For further value addition, there are in-app purchases as well.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has thrown unforeseen challenges for businesses. Being in a right emotional state is important more than ever. What suggestion would you give to business owners so that they can overcome this challenge better?
This pandemic is making emotional intelligence and healing more and more important. To overcome the stresses of day to day life we need to be able to get over so much that before the pandemic it was easier to ignore. Now we are seeing relationship problems, problems with parents communicating with their teens etc. We should all take this time to self-reflect and I believe that the Emotional Healing toolbox can help immensely.
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